Cruisers take advantage of winds to 12 mile banks

| 05/03/2013

(CISC): Conditions for last weekend’s 12 Mile Banks and back Cruiser race were unusually benign with light winds out of the South South East producing swell but no real problems for even the smaller boats. The 12 mile banks race goes back to the days of the mighty schooners that would race from Seven Mile Beach out to the banks and then back for bragging rights which boosted their trading credentials. The modern race is a bit longer, starting in North Sound and returning via Hog Sty Bay to Seven Mile. Seven boats made the start and it wasn’t long before Blue Runner had broken out and led the fleet out through the main channel of North Sound.

It soon became apparent that the expected spinnaker run out to the banks was not as easy to hold without sailing a longer course which meant that those boats not flying the kites were competing on more level terms. Yahoo Yahoo was in pursuit of Blue Runner closely followed by Pie Sees 3.
Mark Rickman’s Panacea sailed well in the first half of the race as did the smallest boat in the fleet, Nigel Bates’ Artemis, a Catalina 25 footer. Shanti sailing with an inexperienced crew from Portugal and South Africa had quite a few technical difficulties and were left struggling towards the back. As the fleet turned at the banks for the sail back to Seven Mile Beach and the harbour they were well spread out but different courses and tactics did see some boats coming together in the harbour for the final turn up to the Beach Suites and the finish line.

After 32 miles of sailing, Blue Runner, skippered by Bruce Johnson sailed well all day to take first place by a handsome 23 minutes on corrected time. Pie Sees 3, last year’s winners, took second place by just over 4 minutes from Artemis with Yahoo Yahoo just 3 minutes behind them.

Jonathan Cuff from Harbour House who sponsored prizes for the first three places was quick to point out that Blue Runner was the first boat to win this trophy for a second time having first won the race in 2007. “They have spent some time and money bringing the boat up to spec but they also have put together a consistent crew who know the boat”. Bruce Johnson was quick to acknowledge his crew too saying “The key positions on board are filled by the people who have been with us some time. This means that all I have to do is drive!”

Rob Hutchison, the cruiser rep for the sailing club, thanked Terrie Farrington and her Race Committee, Harbour House for their sponsorship and The Grand Cayman Beach Suites for hosting the after race BBQ. “There is always a bit more of a thrill sailing offshore and we are now looking forward to the Easter Round the Island Race”.

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